'American Idol': Southern California contestant Nick Townsend makes top 40, hopes to help others impacted by suicide

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Nick Townsend has been performing for most of his life. The Southern California resident is now front and center on one of the biggest platforms there is... "American Idol."

"It's been like a huge eye opener on both sides of the aspect and the spectrum of being able to work with artists and also being able to get criticism from the three judges," said Townsend. "And being able to work and talk with people who are successful in the industry and to get feedback and things to work on from them has been amazing."

Townsend is among the top 40 contestants for this year's competition. And while he truly loves to sing, Nick also wants to use the spotlight to help others. The 26-year-old has lost two brothers to suicide; he hopes his own experiences coping with loss will resonate with others.

"It's been so incredible, like the amount of people who have reached out," said Nick. "So being able to tell people like, I know it's hard, but just focusing on the positive, just trying to really just thrive on that," said Townsend. "Because then, everything else will become positive and will become uplifting and will become a little bit easier."

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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